Canada has advanced to the women’s gold-medal game in its debut appearance at the FIBA 3×3 Basketball World Cup.
The 13th-ranked Canadians held on for a 16-14 semifinal win over Lithuania after leading by as many as nine points with just under four minutes remaining in Antwerp, Belgium.
With under 10 seconds left, Michelle Plouffe of Edmonton missed a layup but a key block in the final seconds secured the victory.
“I think it’s one of the hallmarks of this team, having the ability to remain calm,” Plouffe said after the game. “We grinded to the finish. I’m so proud of this team.
“I feel like the goal has been accomplished. We wanted to get to the podium.”
Canada will face France at 2:55 pm ET after the Frenchwomen gained a measure of revenge with a 17-16 win over China following a 16-14 loss in last year’s Olympic bronze-medal contest.
Playing with purpose
Michelle Plouffe gave the Canadians a 16-12 advantage before her sister, Katherine, missed a jumper with 45 seconds on the clock.
Lithuania made it a two-point game after Martyna Petrenaite connected on two foul shots.
Canada started the contest with purpose, fresh off a 14-10 quarter-final upset of the two-time champions from the United States on Saturday.
After Lithuania made it 3-3 from the foul line, Canada went on a 9-1 run capped by a Paige Crozon two-pointer to make it 12-4. Katherine Plouffe extended the margin to 15-6.
The medal games are scheduled for later Sunday, with live coverage throughout the event available on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.